Flowers smell strongly of decaying meat, and are pollinated by flies. It is known as the “stinky” plant with “miraculous” properties. Several Hoodia spp. are eaten raw/used as appetite and thirst suppressants to treat indigestion, hypertension, diabetes, and stomaches. Hoodia spp. are used as a convenient emergency food and moisture source in harsh arid environments. As food, the spines
are scraped off the succulent stems and the stems are eaten.
Sold in the supermarkets and shops all across the US.
Other Hoodia species also are reported to have similar applications. For instance, H. gordonii () is eaten fresh, and is used as an appetite-suppressant by shepherds.
It was shown that H. gordonii extract was able to induce weight loss or control appetite in mammals, and these extracts were dominated by chlorogenic acid and a sterol glycoside.
Extracts have been reported to control obesity and in the treatment of related health conditions including syndrome x.
H. officinalis has been used to treat pulmonary tuberculosis and hemorrhoids. H. pilifera is also edible, suppresses thirst and hunger and is used in brandy tinctures, as a stomachic, and to treat
hemorrhoids and pulmonary tuberculosis. In African traditional medicine H. currori is also used to treat diabetes.
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa investigated the plant’s effect and demonstrated in animal studies that an extract from the plant was highly effective in
In 1997, the CSIR approached a company (Phytopharm, UK) to collaborate in the development of a prescription drug with the active ingredient P57. At one point Phytopharm had signed a licensing agreement with Pfizer who would have marketed P57 in the rest of the world (Habeck 2002). Maintaining intellectual property rights and providing benefits to the indigenous peoples who provided the traditional knowledge that led to the scientific discovery is a rather complex and entangled issue. Other issues facing the Hoodia industry and regions where it is cultivated are; difficulty in meeting consumer demand due to slow growth of this species; adulteration of commercial products with other Hoodia and non-Hoodia species; and using sustainable cultivation and harvesting practices.
Allerlei: Botswana in Kalahariwüste
Phytologie: Appetit hemmend/Ausdauer fördernd